J.W. Alden is fascinated with the fantastic. As such, science fiction and fantasy have become his literary domain—though some other weird things sneak in from time to time.
Growing up along the coasts of Florida, James learned to hate the sun and love the shade. While most kids his age spent their weekends at the beach or on the basketball court, he buried himself in books. He now lives just outside West Palm Beach with his wife Allison, who doesn't mind the odd assortment of musical instruments and medieval weaponry that decorate his office (as long as he tries to brandish the former more often than the latter).
J.W. Alden is a graduate of Odyssey Writing Workshop. His fiction has appeared in Nature, Daily Science Fiction, the Unidentified Funny Objects anthology series, and various other publications.
Möbius in Nature, November 2014.
Child Soldier in Daily Science Fiction, December 2013.
Item Not As Described originally in Unidentified Funny Objects 2, October 2013; reprinted in Kasma, February 2015.
Stewart C Baker
Stewart C Baker is an academic librarian, haikuist, and speculative fiction writer. His poetry has appeared in various haiku magazines, and his fiction in Nature, Daily Science Fiction, Flash Fiction Online, and various other places. He was born in England, spent time in South Carolina, Japan, and California, and now lives in Oregon with his family--although if anyone asks, he'll usually say he's from the Internet.
Elements of a Successful Exit Broadcast at Fantastic Stories of the Imagination, November 2015.
Love and Relativity at Nature Futures, September 2015.
Concerning your Recent Creation of Sentient Horse-things on the Next Planet Over at Flash Fiction Online, August 2015.
Matt Dovey is very tall and very English, and is most likely drinking a cup of tea right now. He has a scar on his arm where a trap caught him in his fox form. He now lives in a quiet market town in rural England with his wife & three children; despite being a writer, he still hasn't found the right words to properly express the delight and joy he finds in this wonderful arrangement. His surname rhymes with "Dopey"; any other similarities to the dwarf are purely coincidental.
He does boring stuff with computers for a living. Thanks to the tireless and loving efforts of his wife, he has time not only to write but also to brew wine, photograph everything, and run around a field with a pretend sword and a silly accent in the name of LARP.
This is the Sound of the End of the World at Flash Fiction Online, March 2016.
The Lady & The Moon at Cosmic Roots and Eldritch Shores, April 2016.
Known as the “Wizard of Storytelling,” writing sensation and author of fifty novels, David wrote short stories as a child and dreamed of growing up to become a fantasy writer. He gained experience in a number of career paths but never lost sight of his goals. Finally, after saving money for years, he decided to risk it all and go to Brigham Young University to study.
While there, he became ill and feverish and started having some fantastic dreams. In one such dream, two futuristic mercenaries were taking shelter in the skull of some giant beast while waiting out a rainstorm. His dreams became so vivid and lifelike that he had to put them in a story called “On My Way to Paradise.”
He entered it into the L. Ron Hubbard Writers of the Future contest and won the grand prize for the year, the Gold Award. He was immediately contracted by Bantam Books to turn the short story into a novel of the same name, along with a contract to write two more books. The novel, My Way to Paradise spent several months on the Locus Science Fiction Best-seller list, and won a Phillip K. Dick Memorial Special Award for being one of the best science fiction novels of the year.
He wrote science fiction for ten years under his given name David Wolverton, during which he wrote several best sellers. After having mastered science fiction, David decided it was time to take another risk and try writing fantasy, hoping to realize his childhood dream. So as not to confuse his readers, he wrote his fantasies under the name David Farland.
The Runelords series
The Ravenspell series
The Golden Queen series
Julie Frost was raised as an Army brat by parents who taught her to love reading by the age of four. She started writing in high school, but didn't pick up her keyboard seriously until she was in her 40s. Since then, she's written an eclectic mixture of short science fiction and fantasy, which has appeared in Cosmos, Unlikely Story, Plasma Frequency, Stupefying Stories, and many other venues, and has been a finalist at the Hidden Prize for Prose. Her first novel, Pack Dynamics, was published by WordFire Press in 2015.
She lives in Utah with her family, which consists of more pets than people, along with a collection of anteater figurines and Oaxacan carvings, some of which intersect. When not writing, she enjoys traveling to zoos, wildlife refuges, and National Parks to take pictures. When not traveling, she cuddles with her husband, cats, and guinea pigs and watches bad werewolf movies and good TV.
This fine story was her 29th entry to Writers of the Future, which she hopes teaches everyone the value of psychotic persistence. "Never give up, never surrender."
Pack Dynamics, published by WordFire Press, 2015. Purchase at
R. M. Graves is a born and bred Londoner. Due to his mother reading only Asimov during her pregnancy, something she has not done before nor since, he is genetically preconfigured for speculative fiction. He started by reading Andre Norton, followed by his mother's Asimov, and moved on to Orwell and Huxley because they were banned by his Catholic school.
He finished writing his first book before he'd finished reading his first book and secretly wrote all through his schooling. Later he secretly wrote all through his architectural studies and still secretly writes despite having a family and his own illustration company.
In 2012 he joined the Online Writers Workshop to learn how to write stories that people would want to read. Now his fiction appears in Interzone and Escape Pod, among other places. His art book Postcards from the Future is available on Amazon UK.
He lives in preapocalyptic Camden Town with his wife and two children.
One for Sorrow, Two for Joy at Circa, October 2015.
Albie's War at The Queenshead, October 2015
Tenacious Wriggler at Urban Graffiti, July 2015
Sylvia Anna Hivén
Sylvia Anna Hivén was born in Sweden but lives and writes in Atlanta. She has a much too flexible day job that allows her time to write, garden, cook, entertain, and follow Jesus Christ. She writes all kinds of speculative fiction but loves weird westerns a little more than the rest. Her stories have appeared in Beneath Ceaseless Skies, Daily Science Fiction, EscapePod, PseudoPod, Stupefying Stories, and other places.
How To Remember at Pseudopod, July 2015.
On Deliverance at Daily Science Fiction, June 2015
The Sixth Day at Beneath Ceaseless Skies, March 2015.
What Needs to Burn at Beneath Ceaseless Skies, July 2014.
L Ron Hubbard
L. Ron Hubbard wrote early in his remarkably diverse and prolific career. It was, as well, an excitement he drew with consummate skill from a life of adventurous breadth and uncommon personal achievement—as an explorer and ethnologist, master mariner and daredevil pilot, filmmaker and photographer, philosopher and educator, composer and musician, and, always, before everything, as a writer and master storyteller. His boundless curiosity, his deep conviction that “To really know life you’ve got to be part of life. You must get down and look; you must get into the nooks and crannies of existence,” carried him across continents and oceans and through the wide realm of the human condition. And all of it, first to last, became part both of L. Ron Hubbard’s fiction and of the literary culture of our time.
Mission Earth series
Rachael K. Jones
Rachael K. Jones grew up in various cities across Europe and North America, where she picked up (and mostly forgot) six languages along with and an addiction to running. Now she lives in Athens, Georgia with her husband. She is a writer, an editor, a podcaster, and a secret android.
Rachael has been a voracious consumer of the written word since elementary school, when after she’d read all the books in the classroom library, a teacher gave her the dictionary to keep her occupied. She went on to get a degree in English, but didn’t do much with it until National Novel Writing Month got her back into creative writing years later.
These days she is pursuing a master’s degree in Speech-Language Pathology at the University of Georgia, which combines her love of linguistics, science, literacy, and communication. In her free time, she writes stories about her favorite things: dinosaurs, friendship, feminism, and upwardly mobile brains in jars.
Charlotte Incorporated in Lightspeed, February 2016.
The Law of the Conservation of Hair in Shimmer, September 2015.
Travelling Mercies in Strange Horizons, February 2015.
K. D. Julicher
K. D. Julicher is a writer, programmer, and mother - not in that order. Her stories are produced in collaboration with her husband, a process that varies between "sublime" and "put down the gun, love". She currently resides in Nevada and her favorite place for brainstorming is halfway up a mountain.
The Golden Knight, winner of the 2014 Baen Fantasy Adventure Award, 2014.
Jon Lasser lives and writes in Seattle, Washington with his wife Laura and their two children. Although he's been writing since he was six, and has long been a published author of technical nonfiction, he's focused on speculative fiction for the last several years—ever since his wife told him to "put up or shut up" and take writing seriously.
When not writing, working in technology, or taking care of his family, Jon scuba dives. He prefers the Northwest's cold-water diving, but won't turn down a free trip to Hawaii or Bonaire if offered.
The Angel of Hunger at Fourteen Hills, Issue 19.2.
Every Girl on the Bus I've Ever Looked at the Wrong Way, I'm Sorry at Ampersand Review, Volume 6.
The Saviors in Penumbra 32
Stephen Merlino lives in Seattle, Washington where he writes, plays, and teaches high school English. He lives with the world's most desirable woman, two fabulous kids, and three attack chickens. "The Jack of Souls" is a story taken from his novel of the same name.
Stephen's path to writing began at the age of eleven, when he discovered Tolkien and dreamed of writing epic tales of his own. In college, when a tenth reading of The Lord of the Rings no longer delivered, he discovered Chaucer and Shakespeare and fell in love with England and its literature. Sadly, the closest he got to England back then was Seattle's Unicorn Pub (and that was run by a Scot named Angus); it wasn't until years later that he'd attend grad school in Berkshire to study Shakespeare.
One day, a professor said of Stephen's stories, "You should get these published!" and the old dream stirred. Stephen pursued it, and though those stories remain unsold, the journey showed him the world of agents, craft, critique groups, and the value of what Jay Lake called, "psychotic persistence."
"The Jack of Souls" and its parent novel are the result of that happy psychosis.
Jack of Souls, published by Tortoise Rampant Press, December 2014. Purchase at Amazon
Ryan Row spent most of his childhood split between the bony deserts of Nevada and the thin-aired forests of the Sierra Mountains. His father and mother both read to him as a child, and, like a balloon popping, something in his head was irreversibly broken. How could he be satisfied with the absolute laws of gravity when just inside the paper-thin covers of a thousand books, men flew under the power of their own mythic wings? Wax and iron and flesh. How could he be content with the same pattern of stars every night through his narrow window when mere pages away women in silver jumpsuits sailed on solar winds through an ever-changing cipher of stars? How could he be satisfied?
He could not. Ever since, he's been hopping galaxies like a fugitive hopping train cars.
Ryan currently studies Creative Writing at San Francisco State University, and he lives in Oakland, California with a beautiful and mysterious woman who every day makes him believe the impossible doesn't just happen inside the pages of books. The beautiful and impossible can happen right here on Earth-002.
Water is my Favorite Molecule at Daily Science Fiction, December 2015.
Edge of One Place, Edge of Another at Glassworks, August 2015.
Contact at Apocrypha and Abstractions, September 2014.
Christoph Weber is an author and arborist whose work has appeared in Nature and Poetry Quarterly. He is currently finishing The Descent of Man, his novel about what happens to humans in a world without bees, told from the perspective of a de-extincted, smart-mouthed Neanderthal. Christoph holds the distinction of being the only winner to answer his finalist notification call impersonating Arnold Schwarzenegger. In his defence, he thought the call was from a telemarketer.
Author photo courtesy of Jiyang Chen.
The Descent of Man at Nature Futures, January 2015.
Cemetery Sex at Poetry Quarterly, January 2015.
Sean Williams was born in the dry, flat lands of South Australia, where he still lives with his wife and family and a pet plastic fish. He has been called many things in his time, including (somewhat ostentatiously) "the premier Australian speculative fiction writer of the age" (Aurealis), the "Emperor of Sci-Fi" (Adelaide Advertiser), the "Lord of the Genre" (Perth Writers' Festival), and the "King of Chameleons" (Australian Book Review) for the diversity of his published output. That output includes over forty novels for readers all ages, one hundred-plus short stories across numerous genres, the odd published poem, and even a sci-fi musical. He also likes making up new words. He is a multiple recipient of the Aurealis and Ditmar Awards and has been nominated for the Philip K. Dick Award, the Seiun Award, and the William Atheling Jr. Award for criticism. He received the "SA Great" Literature Award in 2000 and the Peter McNamara Award for contributions to Australian speculative fiction in 2008. His latest series are Troubletwisters, a fantasy for middle grade readers co-written with Garth Nix, and Twinmaker, a near-future thriller for young adults (and old adults too). Over forty bonus short stories set in the Twinmaker universe are available online here. In 2014, Sean and Garth co-authored the third novel in the New York Times bestselling Spirit Animals series, Blood Ties.
Sean Williams (Author) on Facebook
The Twinmaker Series